Archive for Stories

PseudoPod 601: Flash On The Borderlands XLIII: The Grinding of Gears

Show Notes

stick my hands thru the cage of this endless routine

just some flesh caught in this big broken machine


Suicide Vending Machine: “I was in the crisp white gleam of the car showroom with a coffee machine and a stopped clock, and I couldn’t imagine anyone ever being allowed to leave.”


Suicide Vending Machine

by Thomas Welsh


Good morning sir. I see from my paperwork that you have a budget of ten thousand dollars, but I’m pleased to announce that you can benefit from our “recommend a friend” discount scheme. Yes sir, it’s another three thousand, and you should certainly thank them the next time you see them. Or perhaps allow us to send them a message of thanks  on your behalf?

I am glad you asked! You absolutely can make a referral too. Don’t worry; I’ll remind you when we finalize our documentation. Just the name and location is all we need, we will pick them up.

Alright then, let’s begin! (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 600: The Graveyard Rats


The Graveyard Rats

by Henry Kuttner


Old Masson, the caretaker of one of Salem’s oldest and most neglected cemeteries, had a feud with the rats. Generations ago they had come up from the wharves and settled in the graveyard, a colony of abnormally large rats, and when Masson had taken charge after the inexplicable disappearance of the former caretaker, he decided that they must go. At first he set traps for them and put poisoned food by their burrows, and later he tried to shoot them, but it did no good. The rats stayed, multiplying and overrunning the graveyard with their ravenous hordes. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 599: The Boy with the Glass Eyes


The Boy With The Glass Eyes

By J.L. Flannery


My son arrived in a brown cardboard package, no bigger than a shoebox.

I lifted the lid to see him lying there flat on his back, eyes closed, as though he were asleep.

‘Go on,’ my Boss said, ‘lift him up.’

Nervously, I lifted him up out of the box and cradled him in my arms. His skin was velvet. His smell; pure talcum powder. I looked down at his sleeping face and put on a smile, pretending the nausea that was rising in my throat didn’t exist.

My Boss, Mr Yamamoto, stood staring, waiting for me to react.

‘It’s incredibly lifelike,’ I said in Japanese.

He nodded, ‘Just like a real baby. Go ahead. Power it up.’

I hesitated a moment. What on earth would Alice say when I bought this thing home with me?

‘It’s a great privilege to be chosen,’ Mr Yamamoto said smiling, as if he could sense my unease.

I nodded, ‘Yes, I know. Thank you. I’m very grateful about it, honest I am. It’s just…’

‘It’s just what?’

‘Nothing,’ I said, ‘it’s nothing,’ and I held down the button on the base of its spine and the baby woke up.

Slowly, his eyes opened and he turned his head to look at me with his blue eyes made of glass. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 598: Walk in Beauty


Walk in Beauty

by Jim Bihyeh


Tomacita Jones walked over the yellowing grass of the Carl Shepherd Memorial football stadium next to Wide Reeds Elementary School, listening to the autumn winds shake the elm trees at the edge of the gravel track circling the field. The winds were getting stronger now. The nights longer. The cold was becoming more real and the trees knew it. So they were letting their leaves die. She didn’t like that thought, as she bent over her knees and stretched her all-too-chubby legs under her all-too-puffy sweatpants. She double-knotted the laces on her scuffed running shoes. She hadn’t worn them in years, not since Rosa, her granddaughter, had been born.
She felt snot about to drip from the tip of her nose and she brushed it away with the sleeve of her sweatshirt.

But she was wearing the damn shoes today.

And they were helping her forget about those trees, hissing and letting their leaves drop away. Maybe that’s what life led you toward. You let go of the things that were supposed to die.

And they dropped to the earth, so that the rest of you (what really existed, down in the roots) could survive the winter.


The rest of the text is available in our 10th Anniversary anthology For Mortal Things Unsung. Purchase of this book helps to support Escape Artists.